Catawba forum will focus on aviation’s impact on modern society

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 20, 2017

Catawba College 1996 alumnus Kyle Snyder, the consortium director of NextGen Air Transportation (NGAT) at N.C. State University, will be the speaker at the 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, Catawba Community Forum on campus. He will speak on “How Aviation Will Impact Modern Society” in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph Ketner Hall at the event which is free and open to the public.

Snyder, who saw the first space shuttles launch from his backyard, worked at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, and actually got married at North Carolina’s historic Kitty Hawk, returned home to North Carolina in 2012 to help prepare the state for modern aviation. It was at that time that he assumed his current position as consortium director at NextGen Air Transportation (NGAT) at NCSU.

In 2015, Snyder secured North Carolina State University’s position on the FAA’s UAS Center of Excellence ASSURE Alliance as the Command and Control research focus lead. He continues to work with industry, government, and academic institutions to support the transition of research and new technologies from laboratories into operational aerospace products. As the world enters a renaissance period in the history of aviation, Snyder’s goal is to lead the digitizing and connecting of the airspace infrastructure for safe integration of all aircraft.

At the March 21 Community Forum, Snyder will explore the role of drones, autonomous personal aircraft, and bit about commercial space travel. He will speak to the ability to completely move into three dimensions, not 2.1 dimensions, through modern aviation technology as an inspiring force that faces regulatory, physical, and social challenges.

After graduating from Catawba, Snyder earned his Master of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Tennessee Space Institute, Tullahoma, Tenn., and his M.B.A. in Aerospace from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.

Prior to his current position at NCSU, he worked as UAS Program Director in the Aerospace Department at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He has also worked as Director of Knowledge Resources at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in Arlington, Va.  He has held a variety of other positions at Georgia Institute of Technology, Applied Systems Intelligence, Inc., Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems, and NASA Academy in Aeronautics.